No ill feeling on Troy board, Benson

In a MINING DAILY exclusive, ousted Troy Resources director and chief executive Paul Benson said the recent dispute with former chairman John Jones would not harm the working relationship of the company's board.

Troy Resources chief executive Paul Benson yesterday denied the boardroom dispute that had embroiled the company over the past month would have an ongoing affect on the directors’ working relationships.

“All of the directors share the view that now the dispute is out of the way, we can all move on and work together as a board and management team,” he told MINING DAILY.

“We all want to see the Troy share price maximised, so the disagreement is water under the bridge as far as we are concerned.”

The company’s former chairman John Jones launched a bid to remove three directors in late-September; including Benson, the company’s founder Alan Naylor and the chair of its audit committee, Denis Clarke.

Jones was reportedly unhappy with funding plans for the company’s $52 million Casposo gold-silver project in Argentina.

He preferred the company look into debt funding or a rights issue to existing shareholders, rather than the potentially dilutive rights issue at a discount that the rest of the board favoured.

Although both parties agreed to a non-renounceable entitlement issue to existing shareholders, Benson denied this was a sign that Jones had emerged as a victor in the stoush.

“When the dispute started, there was no final proposal for the rights issue,” he said.

“The issue that has gone out was unanimously supported by the board, so it is not fair to say whether any side won.”

Jones wanted to replace the three targeted directors with his associates Peter Stern, Robin Parish and Andrew Barclay.

Naylor, Clarke and Benson have agreed to step down from the board, although Benson will remain as chief executive.

Two of the director positions have been removed totally, reducing the board size to five, while the remaining vacancy will be taken by Robin Parish.

Benson said he was totally at ease with having to step down from the board.

“I was employed as chief executive, so whether I am a director or not is not critical to my job,” he said.

“As with any compromise, in order to reach the middle-ground, each party has to give up something.

“So the decision was not a difficult one to make and I am relaxed with the outcome.

“You always wish distractions like this did not occur, but once they do, you have to try and find a compromise so you do not destroy the company’s value.”

Benson also said he had not given a moment’s thought to the possibility of returning to the board at any stage in the future.

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